Fanning the Flames of Phillies Fans

Phillies fans are no doubt the most dramatic and impatient fans in the lot. While I’m not sure if this is a healthy thing, they remain quite loyal and can ill afford to be taken for granted. Witness the 600,000 person drop in attendance at the Bank this past year. Still more refused to renew their season tickets until Ed Wade was fired. Nonetheless, I doubt we lined up in droves at the ticket window upon hearing the announcement of Pat Gillick’s hiring. That said, do you think the new GM will give fans more of a reason to believe? Certainly the answer is ‘no’ but appended by ‘not yet anyway.’ Results are the only thing that matter and a GM is just a means toward that end. But in the meantime, the Inquirer reports fan reaction as none to pleased:

"It’s kind of disappointing because I think this team is in desperate need of a major overhaul and Hunsicker was the type of guy I would trust to get that job done. "

"Sounds like Mr Montgomery found himself another yes man! The Phillies have no clue on how far away from the fans they are."

"Apparently, Mr. David Montgomery found the ‘patsy’ he was looking for, a gentleman with a baseball reputation and background, who sounds entirely comfortable with the same old Phillies program."

"Tell me this: If two men are essentially the same in their accomplishments but one is the fan favorite, why would you go with the other guy, if empty seats were a major concern?"

This echoes some Phillies Nation comments from last week. Yikes! Ok Pat, then how do you respond to the question, "How can the Phillies improve their relationship with their fans?"

"It’s one of my jobs. The way you mend that is a lot of one-on-one with the players and indicate to them how important the fans are. I know the fans here in Philly are rabid Phillie fans, so it’s important that you do connect with them."

Wrong answer! Win was the answer we were looking for. We would have also accepted "make the playoffs," "win the division," or "win the World Series." Having a one-on-one lunch with Cory Lidle at the Palm then seeing Cory at a Mayfair blockparty wouldn’t really convince me you’re trying to court fans. The main idea here is to not worry about us fans. We’re gonna boo every time Pat Burrell strikes out and every time Jon Lieber has a 5 run inning. What Pat needs to concentrate on is one thing, and that’s his primary responsibility as GM: acquiring the requisite talent to give the Phillies the best opportunity to win. Save the public relations problems for VP Larry Shenk.

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